This Friday the long-awaited Simpsons Movie hits theaters. The show has had many sports associations, most notably the Homer at the Bat episode featuring a fistful of major leaguers, and cameos from a varied group that includes Joe Frazier, Chick Hearn, Gerry Cooney and Yao Ming. Hell, they've even referenced Esteban Yan. What they've never had, until now, is a live-action cast for a Simpsons movie made up exclusively of sports figures.
Homer Simpson – Ralph Friedgen. We were having trouble casting this most important of roles as it takes girth, a sense of adventure and a lack of regard/intelligence for the consequences. Friedgen is a big fat guy with little remaining hair but that’s not unique in sports. He got the role because he’s also a bit of a dummy. Take a look this story from today’s Baltimore Sun about a fishing trip Friedgen went on with his brothers after their charter canceled thanks to the weather.
One brother-in-law drove the boat onto an oyster bed. Friedgen was in the back of the boat. The tide was going down quickly. Friedgen realized that if they were going to get off the oyster bed, he had to jump off the boat. They pushed it off, but Friedgen got stuck about waist-deep in something akin to quicksand. With a current threatening to take him out to sea, he was able to get back into the boat. However, Friedgen was bleeding from a multitude of cuts.
When Friedgen got caught in quicksand, I imagine he bent down to pull one foot out and then the other one. That’s the kind of dedication to a part we’re looking for here.
Marge Simpson – Brynn Cameron. While Homer goes off on his crazy adventures Marge is forced to stay at home with the kids. Substitute Matt Leinart for Homer and you’ll see why Cameron wins this coveted part.
Bart Simpson – Gary Sheffield. His rebelliousness and unwillingness to follow the party line gets him in hot water with authority figures. Those traits have him perceived by the world at large as not being very bright. Underneath it all though there’s a bit of wisdom in what he says and he’s just doing what he feels because he’s not interested in what society says about him as long as they are paying attention to him.
Lisa Simpson – Billie Jean King. Overly concerned with social causes and won’t stop bugging people so that they pay attention to those causes because no one pays attention to her for just being the talented girl that she is. Also, Billie Jean King has an imaginary friend named Rachel Cohen who just got into Brandeis.
Maggie Simpson – Curt Schilling. In a gender-bending role the world finally gets to hear nothing from the mouth of Curt Schilling.
Grandpa Simpson – Joe Morgan. Tells crazy stories that grossly exaggerate his involvement and/or never actually happened in the first place. No matter how hard the family tries to abandon and ignore him he just keeps popping up to annoy them, much like Morgan on Sunday Nights.
Patty and Selma – Suzyn Waldman and Marge Schott. Suzyn chose a life of celibacy in favor of the sexual gratification she gets from Roger Clemens signing a contract with the Yankees. Marge simply had it thrust upon her.
Carl – Gilbert Arenas. Because Carl’s the coolest cat in Springfield.
Comic Book Guy – John Kruk. Enjoys passing judgment on things even though his opinion and $1.75 wouldn’t get you on the subway.
Mr. Burns – Head of ESPN George Bodenheimer. Controls the power and rarely uses it to benefit anybody but himself.
Smithers – Chris Berman. Aids and abets his master in any way he can. Also, both are into leather.
Ned Flanders – Tony Dungy. Footlong hot dogs make each of them uncomfortable.
Nelson – Terrell Owens. Like Nelson, Owens was first seen as a run of the mill bully who picked on other people where they were most vulnerable. But just as Nelson revealed a lot about his true self when he professed love for Andy Williams, Owens revealed his other side when he “accidentally” overdosed on painkillers.
Apu – Vijay Singh. Yeah, I know Vijay’s not Indian but each one has a real mean streak and Vijay’s cut several albums under the assumed name Beaumarchais.
Barney Gumble – Vin Baker. Can you imagine that tanked-up loser at the wheel of a whirlybird?
Moe Szyslak – Ryan Leaf. The similarities are striking. Moe was a child star who embarked on a boxing career that forced him behind the bar and turned him into an angry, short-tempered man who keeps an enemies list and performs unlicensed surgery. Leaf was also a star in his youth but his game proved too ugly for the adult world. That made him surly and impossible to work with and leaves him few options beside coaching golf for a Division II school.
Milhouse – Kobe Bryant. This might seem like an odd choice given that Milhouse isn’t good at anything but there are things that draw them together. Nobody really likes either one of them, they both speak Italian and when Milhouse moved to Capital City he tried to reinvent himself as a cool kid. Sort of like what Kobe did when Shaq left town. People caught on in both cases, though.
Dr. Hibbert – Michael Wilbon. Each of them stripped under the name of “Malcolm Sex” to pay their way through college.
Ralph Wiggum – Joe Theisman. Joe shares Ralph’s talent for saying things that are incredibly stupid. They both say them with such innocence, though, that you wonder if there may not be more going on than meets the eye. That or they are both mentally challenged.
Mrs. Krabappel – Chris Evert. Chrissie has jumped from Jimmy Connors to Burt Reynolds to tennis player John Lloyd to skier Andy Mill to Greg Norman.
Rev. Lovejoy – Mike Krzyzewski. A fitting choice to portray Springfield’s most sanctimonious character.
Diamond Joe Quimby – David Stern. No matter how bad things get under their watch, this Teflon twosome keeps their job.
Principal Skinner – Bud Selig. Each man has a job that should entitle them to a great deal of respect from their charges. Neither man gets it nor is the Selig we know the actual Bud Selig. He’s actually a juvenile delinquent from the mean streets of Milwaukee who assumed the name and mother of a man he met in Vietnam.
Chief Wiggum – Your least favorite local sports columnist. Probably obese, definitely too lazy to do all the work required for a job well done and willing to flaunt the power of their position for personal gain.
The Sea Captain – Stuart Scott. The sea captain has two glass eyes. “Arrr” = “Boo-yah.” ‘Nuff said.
Krusty the Clown – Barry Bonds. Avaricious, cynical, black-hearted men who have both consumed enough illegal substances to kill lesser men while remaining at the top of their profession.
Troy McClure – Tiki Barber. Hi, I’m Today Show anchorman Tiki Barber. You may remember me as a running back for the Giants, a host of the Fox News morning show, children’s book author and having a twin brother.
Gil – Steve DeBerg. Neither man could ever keep a job because someone younger was always coming in the door behind them. DeBerg doesn’t live in a storage locker though.
Hans Moleman – Mark Prior. Given their history of medical mishaps it’s a wonder that either one is still alive.
Dr. Nick Riviera – Any Kansas City Royal. Because sometimes you need someone to do the job and can’t (or won’t) pay for the very best. Hi Mark Teahen!
Sideshow Bob – Etan Thomas. I know Anderson Varejao is the obvious choice but when you throw in Bob’s erudition and take out Thomas’s dreads he’s really a better fit.
Sideshow Mel – Lennox Lewis. Because you don’t expect a guy who looks like that to have a British accent.
Frank Grimes – Joe Buck. Neither one of them can ever stop being outraged by things that everyone else just takes in stride.
Martin – Bob Costas. No one likes the smartest kid in the room.
Kirk Van Houten – Gary Bettman. It’s virtually impossible to respect either man.
Drederick Tatum – Rafael Nadal. Just kidding, we all know who he is.
Rainier Wolfcastle – Charlie Ward. They both hate the Jews.
Cookie Kwan – Michelle Wie. Cookie dominates on the West Side. Sadly most of her work is on the East Side just as most of Wie’s work is on a male tour that she can’t seem to dominate.
Disco Stu – Rex Grossman. Neither Disco Stu nor the Sex Cannon need to advertise.
Superintendent Chalmers – Billy Packer
Kent Brockman – Bryant Gumbel a.k.a. Brian Gummelstern
Rod and Todd Flanders – The Brothers Manning
Groundskeeper Willie – Colin Montgomerie
Duffman – Brady Quinn. Oh yeah!
Professor Frink – Bill James
Fat Tony – Mike Francesa
Artie Ziff – Daniel Snyder
Brandine – Tonya Harding
Cletus – John Daly
Lindsey Naegle – Erin Andrews
The Yes Guy – Marv Albert
Rex Banner – Senator George Mitchell
The Rich Texan – Jerry Jones
Lionel Hutz – Scott Boras
Lyle Langley – Drew Rosenhaus
Roger Meyers Jr. – George Steinbrenner
Otto – Ricky Williams
Hank Scorpio – Mark Cuban
The Mean P.E. Coach who moves in next door to the Simpsons when Ned moves away – Sean Salisbury
Kearney – Shawn Kemp
Jimbo – Any Duke basketball player
Dolph – Kevin Youkilis
Squeaky Voiced Teen – Greg Oden. Still reading?